Budgeting for Meals

In the last few weeks I have started back on a "menu plan". I write down what we are having each night so that I can shop once a week or less for groceries. We have a budget of $350 a month for food and essentials. This goes quickly and diapers once took up $30-$40 of this budget. Thank goodness for cloth diapers! Now we are able to buy more fresh fruits and vegetables along with more natural cleaners for the home which I love.

Our budget will be a bit more stretched this summer since my sister is living with us. So now we are feeding 3 adults and a toddler who sometimes eats as much as I do! He kind of loves his food.

My goal is to spend $75 to $80 a week on groceries and essentials. Give or take a few dollars depending on sales/coupon deals on toilet paper. If there is a good sale + if I have high value coupons on toilet paper I like to stock up. I have not purchased toilet paper for the last two months because I stocked up when I could purchase Charmin Ultra Soft at $3.99 for a 12 pack of double roll. Great deal in my opinion.

Back to budgeting for meals.....


Take out a piece of paper and write down meals that your family loves and meals you have posted on Pinterest that you would like to try...:) I have made so many meals from Pinterest now that I am doing menus. Yummy!

Figure out the ingredients that you need for each meal. Write them down.

Schedule out a week Monday through Sunday (or whatever order of days work best for you).

Write down what you would like to fix each day.

Write out your grocery list of everything you need.

Do not forget breakfast items, lunch items and snacks.

Only purchase the things on your list. The only time I stray from the list is if I have an amazing coupon paired with a great sale. Then I know that I will plan a meal around that deal item for the next week and it'll be one less item on my list for my next grocery shopping trip.

Now to increase your savings you will want to plan meals around what foods are on sale at the grocery store you shop at. You will maximize your savings and still be able to coupon like crazy....if you are addicted to coupons like I am. :)

This really does save you money. Knowing what you are purchasing rather than picking out whatever you want at the store gives you items you will actually use. Plus you have a plan.

No more...
"What are we having for supper tonight?"
"I don't know. What do you want?"
"I don't know. What do we have?"......

Has anyone else had this little conversation with their spouse?

You simply can look at your menu, know you have the items for that meal and save yourself a lot of stress trying to get something thrown together.

Oh the freedom that planning can really give you. :)


  1. I hate going to the store! By planning my meals, I know we have saved tons of money. (And the trip with two little kids goes much faster.)

  2. Oh goodness! I applaud you for going with two little kids. Planning just makes life easier sometimes. :)


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